Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China since 2017
Chairperson of the Committee for Safeguarding National Security since 2020
Predator since 2019
Hong Kong, 80th/180 in RSF’s 2021 World Press Freedom Index
PREDATORY METHOD: Stick, and draconian legislation
When Carrie Lam was appointed as Chief Executive of Hong Kong in 2017, she quickly extended governmental press accreditation to online media outlets, giving the impression that she might help to improve press freedom. But Lam soon showed her true colours as Chinese President Xi Jinping’s puppet and has since consistently tried to defend his indefensible censorship policies under the name of “patriotism.”
The draft amendment she introduced in 2019, allowing extradition to Mainland China, including the extradition of journalists of whom Beijing disapproved, triggered mass protests. During those protests, journalists were subjected to physical violence by the police, violence that Lam kept refusing to recognise. She went on to praise the National Security Law that Beijing imposed in June 2020 so that it could intervene directly in Hong Kong in order to arbitrarily punish what it regarded as “terrorism”, “secession”, “subversion”, and “foreign interference.” Punishable by life imprisonment or even the death penalty, these charges opened the way to arbitrary arrests of journalists.
FAVOURITE TARGETS: Public broadcasters, independent media outlets
OFFICIAL DISCOURSE: A particular vision of freedom and human rights
"It's not a problem to criticise the Hong Kong government, but if there is an intent to organise activities to incite the subversion of the government then that is, of course, a different thing [...] Media friends should have the ability to distinguish between them." (Carrie Lam during a press conference on press freedom and the police raid on Apple Daily headquarters on 22 June 2021).